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Player of the week: Jack Loader

Jack Loader celebrated his 22nd birthday on Friday and then turned on a man of the match performance for Carterton the next day. CHRIS COGDALE talked to the Masterton warehouseman.

Carterton No 8 Jack Loader was earmarked as a promising player from a young age and showed enough talent to earn a scholarship at prestigious Wellington school Scots College.

There he made the 1st XV, which made the final of the National Secondary School Top Four, which they lost to Rotorua Boys High School.

Loader said it was a pretty cool rugby environment with Hurricanes’ prop Alex Fidow and midfield back Peter Umaga-Jensen among his teammates.

After school Loader studied for a Bachelor of Commerce at Victoria University. He graduated last year and has taken a year off from the high intensity of the business world for a “bit of hands on work” as a storeman at CP Wool in Masterton.

On the rugby field, he returned to his beloved Masterton-Red Star and was influential in the team winning the 2017 Senior Reserve Championship.

The team lost their promotion-relegation playoff to East Coast but gained a late entry into the 2018 premier competition, only to struggle.

The club’s woes continued in 2019 and Loader explored other options and joined Carterton. He said it was one of the hardest decisions he has had to make.

“I’m fourth generation Masterton-Red Star and I’m very proud of my club,” he said. “It was my original club and if they ever make it back, I’ll definitely be home.

“But it’s been really good for me at Carterton. It’s a great environment and there’s a lot of good blokes there.”

Short for a No 8, there has been talk of Loader moving to prop.

“I’ve made a couple of steps towards that, but I’ve had quite a few back issues and that’s slowed down my progress. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll just keep punching above my weight in the loose forwards. I love that position.”

Loader said his aim is to crack the Wairarapa-Bush team this year.

“I’m just working on improving my game, and I’m prepared to do the extra work to get there.”

Off the field he loves to spend time with his partner Alana, plays squash for fitness and enjoys hunting and diving.

“Me and my mate have got a couple of dogs and go out for a pig hunt or go for deer to get a bit of venison. You know you can’t beat a bit of ‘venny’.”